Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch told Sky News interviewer David Speers that he will remove his news sites — The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Times of London and many more — from Google’s search index. It’s all in the video below, but here’s the crux of it:
Speers: “The other argument from Google is that you could choose not to be on their search engine, that you could simply refuse … so that when someone does do a search, your sites don’t come up.”
Murdoch: “I think we will, but that’s when we start charging. We have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story – but if you’re not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com all you get is a paragraph and a subscription form.”
Best video moment is at 2:45, when Speers balls up a complicated, clever sentence about how search engines send lots of traffic to News websites. He tosses it over to Murdoch, who bats it down with a cheery ‘”That’s right.” The guy knows all about the Long Tail of referred traffic. He wants loyal readers instead.
Update: Here are some eye-opening stats from traffic research firm Experian Hitwise:
- On a weekly basis Google and Google news are the top traffic providers for WSJ.com account for over 25% of WSJ.com’s traffic.
- Over 44% of WSJ.com visitors coming from Google are “new” users who haven’t visited the domain in the last 30 days.
- Twitter and Facebook sent 4% of US visits to News and Media sites in October 2009. (via @Hitwise_US)
- The percentage of upstream traffic from Facebook and Twitter to News and Media sites is up 490% year-over-year.